~ by Nivedita Banerjee
Career Development Stages – Your First Role
Learning What is Expected of You
You are just out of college, made it into a multinational company and you are about to start a coveted corporate journey. The first few days go by admiring the enormity of the organization, the grandeur, the perks, and the corporate framework. This is where a sense of belonging is established. You now have a designation that typically represents essential activities and responsibilities, likely aligned to your educational qualifications, thereby establishing a sense of purpose. In the beginning, it is rare for someone to fully understand the work expected of them. However, with time, training, and practice, one gradually learns to deliver with responsibility, which helps strengthen a sense of value.
Realizing Your Strengths & Applying Your Knowledge
As you make progress, your skill-based cognitive abilities are bolstered, your confidence is nurtured, you understand the nitty-gritty of the business, you devise better plans, you execute flawlessly, you speak the corporate language, and your work is now recognized and celebrated. This is the phase you cherish the most because you start seeing the growth trajectory.
The Moment of Truth – Time for a Career Change?
“The two-factor theory states that there are certain factors in the workplace that cause job satisfaction while a separate set of factors cause dissatisfaction, all of which act independently of each other.”
Over time, you realize that what you are doing is not enough, you aren’t motivated enough, you aspire for more, and wish to progress further. This is where change becomes the undeniable necessity.
There are a variety of common reasons why people choose to change course. I choose to focus on the desire to transition into a new role and to apply this new role to broaden my career prospects.
Carefully Consider the “Why” Behind Your Desire for a Career Change
The belief and vision behind role transition should meet a greater purpose.
- Is role transition aligned to your career goals?
- Does it present opportunities that were otherwise restricted?
- Is there significant professional benefit?
- Does brand value increase?
- Will it be relevant in the future?
- Is it challenging enough?
Begin by identifying your professional strengths and roles that best fit you—where your skills can be leveraged. Articulate your goals in the appropriate forum so they can be materialized and make the extra effort to get started.
How to Ease into Your Career Change
Transition into a new role
“You cannot jump into the ocean without learning how to swim.”
Plan for a smooth transition
While transitioning into a new role might seem exciting, it can be quite time consuming, stressful, and challenging in terms of new learnings. A structured plan can help smooth the transition.
Seek Education & Certification
There is no alternative to learning. Take courses and study subject material that is relevant to your new role. Use it as an opportunity to acquire competencies and knowledge that broaden your skill set. Stay relevant by learning about the latest trends and technologies associated with your new role. Certifications help in boosting one’s confidence on the newly acquired learnings and capabilities.
Practice Timebox Learning
Timeboxing is an effective tool in prioritizing, organizing, and completing lessons on time. This mechanism offers maximum productivity.
Demonstrate Your Skills
The newly acquired skills will help you understand and apply knowledge in a better manner. You will be able to apply better solutions to problems. You will be able to easily execute on activities that you have studied. It is the translation of these new learnings into real-time solutions that establish your successful transition into the new role.
Embrace a Good Mentor
Having a good mentor is a blessing. Mentors come with experience and expertise. They can help with career direction, suggestions for solving problems, provide constructive feedback and are a constant source of encouragement. A mentor’s guidance helps you quickly adapt to your new role.
Invest in Yourself and Broaden Your Future
In today’s world, most individuals are looking for ways to self-actualize and enable themselves to constantly develop and progress professionally. Those with growth-oriented mindsets are willing to learn and boldly take on new ventures. Continuous learning across one’s career is needed to stay relevant and to adapt to changing trends and technologies. If a person does this, they will be presented with many opportunities.
In conclusion, career development may be seen as an external manifestation of a deeper desire to be the best you can be, to test your limits and to go past them with courage.
Nivedita Banerjee is a Business Analyst with CastleBay Infotech. She has 8 years of experience in the P&C industry and has primarily worked as a QA and BA across Duck Creek and Guidewire technologies.